Friday, January 29, 2010

Another completion for January. I started sewing strips together last year and sewed until I had about 10’ of strips.

Wednesday I put it on the frame

and Thursday I quilted it

and sewed the binding on 2 placemats. Today bound the table runner (picture on Monday) and now I just have two more placemats to bind. I was really surprised at how much I got out of that strip.

I also finished this baby quilt top.

The outside border is fabric I bought on a whim and it didn’t match anything. However, there is brown and lime green in the Moda charm squares and as borders I think they make the quilt a little less babyish.

Nothing else going on here except the anticipation of cooler weather, again.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Abby, Design Wall and Done

I decided to share what I wake up to each morning. Isn’t she the cutest?

I don’t think Abby realizes that she is a dog. She sleeps under the covers, note the beautiful quilt she is under, and likes her head on the pillow. I have wanted to get a picture of this but until this morning, I had forgotten that I can take pictures with my cell.

On my design wall are the blocks from last year’s BOM at my LQS using Eleanor Burns’ Egg Money Quilts Book. These are definitely not my style but it has been fun both to try new things and getting together with other quilters to talk (complain) about some of the challenges. There is one more block to make and then one will be chosen to use as the label and it will be time to rearrange the layout. I spent part of Sunday, while a major thunder storm worked its way through our area, working on a layout design which I hope won’t look anything like any of the quilts in the book. This, of course, means lots more sewing but I am really excited about how this will turn out. I must say that this 30’s fabric is so far out of my comfort zone that that in itself has been quite a challenge for me. Every time I work with it I want to run to my batiks and dive into it. Be sure to stop by Judy’s blog to see what others are up to.

And, the great accomplishment of last week is that Sunday morning I finished the Not Quite Traditional quilt, now called City of Roses.

Saturday I kind of locked myself in the studio and sewed the binding strips together, pressed and then sewed the binding on. While doing that I embroidered the label so it got sewed into the binding. I really like the label to be permanently sewed in and this time I got it done in time. Sometimes it takes me almost as long to designing the label as the quilt but this one came together very quickly. Then Saturday night and Sunday morning was spent hand sewing the other side of the biding and throwing it all in the washing machine. And it only took me 24 days to do this one day project: remember it was a New Year’s Day class: for me it was a New Year’s Month class.

Have a great week!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Busy (non quilting) Week

Well, I have taught 2 Weight Watcher’s classes, done the paperwork for both, done laundry, picked up around the house, made a block for the quilt shop BOM, taken the dogs out several times, read blogs, and made one 188 mile trip for a Weight Watcher staff meeting and provided assistance at my LQS one morning. That said, I have not even been in the studio.

I turned the heaters on Monday but was called and asked to come in to the LQS because she was having a sale, had hurt her back and her regular helpers were unavailable. Go play with fabric? Well, of course, so off I went.

Now I don’t know about everyone else but we have a lady, Karen on the right, whose business is to provide different fabrics for small quilt shops. She travels in a van LOADED with bolts of fabric.

She/we unload about half of what is in the van and then everyone is allowed to poke around in the van as well as with what’s on the tables. She comes about every two months and it is really lots of fun. Besides, Karen is a fun person and we look forward to seeing her.

And, yes, I took advantage of my time there: this is my pile of pre-purchased fabric.

Then, while waiting for the staff meeting Wednesday, I just happened to visit a wonderful discount fabric store where I did a “little” shopping. So now I guess I better get to sewing.

But before I do, look what DH sent for.

I LOVE flavored coffee and Decadent Dark Chocolate is my all time favorite. And the Cool CafĂ© Blues comes in a close second. We used to have a Barnie’s store close to us but it closed. Then my DS#3 was close to one but he moved so now there isn’t one by anyone in the family. So imagine my surprise, and excitement, when the FedEx man showed up with this package. No wonder I have stayed with DH for so long. ;-)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Design Wall and Progress

My design wall continues to be empty. This is my ironing board with parts to a Turkey Tracks block on it, one of the blocks for the Eleanor Burns BOM at my LQS and due Thursday. As anyone can see this has not been a productive week in the studio.

When it started to warm up (yippee!!) I spent a couple of afternoons sitting in the sun reading and that was wonderful. I really like my Nook and I love that I can “sample” books before I decide if I want to buy/read them. But I don’t think I am going to keep the subscription to the newspaper as it is not as much fun to read as a regular paper.

I did work on the quilting for the Not Quite Traditional quilt class. I have quilted all but the two bottom borders.

This first picture is one of the four bear's paw blocks. In this picture the sashing isn't quilted but that is also done now.

This is the back of the quilt. The bobbin thread is purple but it doesn't show much in this picture. I did use a poly batting so the quilting shows even when the thread doesn't.

I must say that this is the most different quilting I have done and I’m pretty sure I will be using these quilting ideas again. Right now, however, I have to watch the beginning of the class video again so I can remember what we did on the top border. Have you ever had the problem of not remembering what you quilted on top? This happened to me on my very first quilt so I now try keeping pictures of what I have already quilted so the bottom can match the top.

And I guess the most important thing that has happened this week is that we celebrated our 49th wedding anniversary. It was yesterday but we began our celebration on Friday by going out to eat and to the movies: It’s Complicated. What a hoot and was even funnier that we were watching a movie about divorce and an affair while we were celebrating our LENGTHY togetherness.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Still behind

I don’t know about everyone else’s part of the country, but it is still COLD here. I know that for a lot of people, that means that it is a great time to get into the sewing room and get some sewing/quilting done. That is not the case here. My studio is separate from the main house and is not centrally heated or air conditioned. I have two really good space heaters that heat two of the three rooms and during the winter I go over first thing in the morning and turn them on. Usually by 9 or 10 the studio is warm enough for me to begin working in there. HOWEVER, for the last week we have had night time temps of 15 – 22 and daytime temps not over 39 and my two little space heaters have not been up to the task. I did try to do some quilting last week but I found that with the inside temp of 53 it was still too cold to stay in there for very long. For that reason my design wall has nothing on it this week. Drop by Judy’s blog and see what others are getting done.

This is what I did get accomplished in my short time in the studio.

The first picture is the first part of the quilting plan Cindy gave us. She calls it “nontraditional Baptist fans.” We were to draw it out on plexiglass placed on the quilt so we could see how it was going to look before the actual quilting was done.

The second picture shows my markings and quilting. On the yellow row is a wiggly cross hatching. I have only gotten a little way but I like what I have been doing so far. I am really enjoying Cindy’s quilting class and hope to get back to it Tuesday.

So what have I been doing with my time? Well, I have been working on creating a sewing space in the house. I decided that for days when it is too cold, or too hot in the summer, or when I want/need to stay in the house (you know like when I am doing laundry and such) but also want to sew, I needed a little nook for my creativity. So I have been moving furniture and while doing that I have been sorting, cleaning, and wondering why I have kept so much junk. I have also found that a lot of dust collects in places where I haven’t been. Right now I have a pretty big mess to contend with but this is what I have created so far.

I am pretty excited about this. And it gives me a reason to not part with my oldest sewing machine which I still enjoy using.

I also have been playing with this.

DH got this for me for Christmas but since they had sold out I didn’t get it until this week. I have wanted an e-reader since they came out but when he saw this from Barnes and Nobel he decided it was the one. I have ordered the Chicago Tribune to be sent daily (hasn’t started yet) because we used to read it every day when we lived in the Chicago area long, long ago. And I am busy browsing for books and reading samples. It is very easy to use and I love electronic gadgets.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ready, set.....

Well, I am this close to beginning the work on the New Year's Day Longarm University class, the Not Quite Traditional Quilt with Cindy Roth. For this class we were given the directions to make the quilt you see to the right. Then the class was/is instruction on several non-traditional ways to freehand quilt it. Well, prior to leaving town I chose my fabric and cut it but didn't have time to sew the top and, of course, I was at THE football game on New Year's Day.

When I got back I crashed for a day and then began sewing on this, along with laundry and other mundane things that needed to get done. And, I was slowed by the fact that when I try to do something fast, I make mistakes, like sewing the bears paws to the sashing backwards. I kept looking at it saying "that doesn't look right." Anyway, I finished it on Monday and yesterday I got the backing together and everything on the frame, ready to quilt. Today I have other responsibilities so I plan for Thursday and Friday to be quilting days.

Meanwhile, while I am working so hard, this is what my little family is doing.

No wonder they are so happy when Daddy is home. Most of the time when I come in from the studio (or the laundry room, or from cleaning the kitchen, etc.) this is where I find all four of them.

And snuggling is a really good idea around here right now. We have been having below freezing temps, teens at night and low 40s during the day. They are even forcasting for a low of around 11 for the weekend. Now I want to tell you that I didn't move to the South for this kind of weather and I want it to GO AWAY!!!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Design Wall Monday

Here it is Jan 4 and I am behind already. Now it is not my fault…….

On the right you can see the fabric I cut for the NYD mystery quilt class with Cindy Roth of Longarm U. She gave us a simple quilt top pattern and we were to have it completed and on the quilt frame, ready to quilt. I, of course, was in Tampa, 450 miles from my frame, so I couldn’t participate on that day. And, of course again, I didn’t have time to even put the top together so I couldn’t even start on the quilting. I took this picture Sunday morning and then started sewing. I hope next week I will be able to show the completed quilt.

On the left of the wall is a paper piecing pattern I bought the first year I was quilting (2002). I love owls so I thought I would love doing the pattern but when I got it home and took it out of the package I was shocked to find that some of the pieces were ¼” square. Well, I folded up the pattern and there it stayed until I was cleaning the studio last week. I have decided that I am going to try to make this pattern this year, a little at a time. It will all go in a bin and I will try to work a little on it every week and we will see how I do.

No pictures of me today. I still look like someone socked me in both of my eyes and I have gotten tired of looking at them. But I did want to share this photo.

Today DH brought home chicken and Abby was doing her best to encourage him to share. Isn’t she cute? And, too bad, it didn’t do any good.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

We’re Back

We had a great three days in Central Fl. On Wednesday we drove down to Lakeland FL where we began a short visit with my mother. Because she has been wanting to upgrade her computer system, we have been looking at laptops, etc for her. Well, coincidentally, Best Buy offered a inexpensive laptop, router, and in home set up package. So on Thursday we all went to Best Buy and she bought the computer, router, wireless printer and the in home instillation. And then she added a digital camera she has also been wanting. She had the nicest salesperson who, along with me, helped her make her decisions.

When we left her we had opened the camera and got it working: also pointed out the operating manual, several times. All those very little dials get confusing so I told her to keep the manual handy at all times.

We did have a little excitement. We had left Mother to rest from the morning’s excitement and when we came back she didn’t answer the doorbell. We didn’t know if she just didn’t hear it or there was something wrong. So while DH remained at the door, I started around the side of the house to see if I could see in the back window. On the way I tripped over a protruding stepping stone and fell, face first onto the stone covered stones. So, this is what I looked like:

I have to say it really hurt: there must be a lot of nerve endings in one’s forehead. Anyway, I cleaned it us as best I could and we headed to the hotel where I really slept well. The next morning, 1/1/10, I got up to get ready to go to the football game and this is what I looked like:

I don’t wear much makeup, or even had any with me, but it kind of looked like I had put a little too much on my left eye and none on the right. And I can pull my bangs over the scratches so I sucked it up and off we went to the game.

Now, I have said before that I really do love my husband, right? Well, sometime in mid-December I asked him if this stadium was a dome or not. He assured me it was and I asked him to check anyway. Every time I asked he assured me it was domed so I didn’t take outside gear. Imagine my dismay when we pulled up, in the rain, to find it is an outside stadium with all seats (other than the boxes) out in the open. I almost stayed in the truck. Now he had said we should get there early so we could get a good parking space but did you know that they don’t open the stadium until 1 ½ hours prior to kickoff? So we got to stand around outside the stadium for about 1 ½ hours, in the rain, waiting to go inside to sit outside in the rain. After a while I noticed that several people were opening packages of slickers. It only took DH an hour to hear me when I was telling him we could buy some, too. I was willing to pay almost anything to not be wet. Once the slickers were on we were let into the stadium where we found our really great seats. We were sitting on a single row “balcony,” right at the 50 yard line.

We were about 20’ from some of the cameras for TV. No one behind us to spill on us and no one in front of us to get in the way of our view. And, of course, it didn’t hurt that after all the excitement, and overtime, MY TEAM WON!!!!!!!! Both teams played a great game and the crowd was loud and enthusiastic. And we came home with new Outback Bowl t-shirts.

After the game we headed home. We stopped to go through a new, to us, antique mall and also for a meatloaf dinner at Boston Market, one of DH’s favorite places to eat. Getting home around 9:30 allowed us to spend a little time with the puppies, who were really glad to see us and then fall asleep in our own bed.

This morning, after sleeping in for a while, this is the progress on my newly renovated facial features:

This does not look like make-up and I was surprised to see it had migrated to the other eye. I have to say that except for the skin burn on my forehead and one finger I must have come down hard on, none of this really hurts but it is looking really bad. The funny thing is that I begin teaching a new Weight Watcher’s class on Monday. Won’t I make a great impression?

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year and Outgoing

When you read this I will be in Tampa, cheering. But I wanted to be sure and start the new year blogging.

First is the lap quilt I made for my mother who has collected all things chicken for several years. I was gifted with several chicken fabrics from some very nice bloggers and had just recently made a Dresden plate block for a BOM so this was the result. Mother has a “sunroom” that in the winter is very chilly so I hope this will keep her warm.

Second is a birdhouse quilt made for my husband’s sister and her husband. They are avid birdwatchers and I have wanted to do a birdhouse quilt for them but never could get a clear idea of what to do. Then Pat offered some paper pieced birdhouse blocks and when they arrived I was off and running.

Next I made two flannel rag quilts:

One for our youngest grandson –

and one for our great grandson.

Instead of the squares I did two sizes of WOF strips with batting sandwiched in. After they were pieced I quilted them on the HQ and then clipped (what seemed like forever) and washed/dried them three times.

For our DD and SIL I made double fleece throws. DD is a Dallas Cowboy’s fan and loves her coffee and when I happened onto a fleece sale the idea was born. I sewed them right sides together, turned them and then sewed twice around the outside so it looks like a binding. Our SIL’s throw is camouflage on one side and Elk on the other. Several years ago he and his son talked about wanting to go Elk hunting and I really liked this fabric. I told them I made these so they could turn the heat down in their house and save money.

The last thing I made this Christmas was machine embroidered pillowcases for our DIL. She collects porcelain Swedish horses and when I found these designs they seemed perfect.

Lastly I did a couple of t-shirts for DH and then I took a well deserved break.

Hope everyone has been having a fun and save holiday!